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Social media erupts in outrage after woman claims attack in hotel

Updated: 2016-04-06 12:11
By Liu Wei (chinadaily.com.cn)

An alleged attack on a woman in a four-star hotel in Beijing caused public outrage on social media on Wednesday.

The woman, whose Sina Weibo account is @wanwan_2016, posted her story in which she claimed she was followed and attacked by a stranger in a hotel while several passersby, including an employee of the property, did not help.

The incident spread quickly online.

The hashtag #Woman has been attacked in Heyi hotel# became the most heated topic by far and has 600 million reads and counting.

About one million internet users had already joined the discussion until 9:30 am on Wednesday.

Her Weibo account @Wanwan_2016 also jumped as the third popular topic on the real-time list.

According to the victim, she was attacked by a male stranger at about 10:50 pm on April 3 when she returned to the hotel.

Social media erupts in outrage after woman claims attack in hotel

Screen capture of the video. [Photo / IC]

She said the surveillance camera shows the man was standing in front of the hotel door and started following her.

They took the same elevator and got off on the same floor. While the woman was looking for her door key in the hallway, the man reportedly approached her and started dragging and choking her throat and mouth to stop her from yelling, said her post.

A hotel staff member who was passing by tried to persuade the man to let her go, although she claims he did not intervene physically to stop the man.

She said the employee may have thought it was just a fight between a couple so did not try to help her forcibly.

Social media erupts in outrage after woman claims attack in hotel

Screen capture of the video. [Photo / IC]

The man allegedly tried to drag her to stairway as it is quieter and chances of anybody walking in were slim.

But then some guests heard the commotion and began calling for help. When one of them grabbed the woman's arm and tried to drag her away from the man, the suspect ran away.

The whole incident lasted about six minutes.

The woman posted her dreadful experience on Weibo on Tuesday morning and attached a surveillance video in the hallway which shows the whole incident.

Social media erupts in outrage after woman claims attack in hotel

Screen capture of the video. [Photo/IC]

She claimed her complaints to the hotel and police have been ignored and no one seems willing to help her and take responsibility.

In just a day, the story swept social media sites, such as Weibo, WeChat and other platforms.

Millions of Internet users vented their anger over the incident and some women voiced concerns about safety at public places.

A comment, which drew more than 200,000 likes, pointed fingers at the police, criticizing them for not taking action after the woman sought their help.

@爱爬山的狼 said: "Is it OK for Chinese to beat their wife or children? It is not the first time that a suspect pretending to be a couple or parent has commited a crime, so that onlookers will not intervene."

Some netizens even gave tips on what women could do to protect themselves from similar situations.

Late on Tuesday, the victim said police had recorded her story.

She said after her story spread online, the hotel called her and termed the incident "harassment".

But she thinks it's much worse than just harassment.

She claimed the hotel also tried to persuade her to "delete" the Weibo post and "offered her money" with "no apologies and care."

Social media erupts in outrage after woman claims attack in hotel

The hotel where the woman was attacked. [Photo/VCG]

The Homeinns Hotel Group, a popular budget hotel chain in China and the parent company of the hotel where the alleged incident took place, said the group is cooperating with police in the investigation.

The group also said it hopes to contact the victim.

Meanwhile, some have questioned the whole incident. Some said the timing of the claim raises doubts as Homeinns Hotel Group has just delisted from the stock market and joined BTG Hotels, whose big stock holder is Ctrip, China's largest online travel agent.

Ctrip is the online booking platform the victim had reportedly used to book the hotel. The Weibo accounts have raised red flags too since the victim's account and the account which released the surveillance video are newly opened and the only posts are about the incident.

Ctrip announced on its official Weibo account on Wednesday that they are treating the incident as high priority and the company is ready to help the victim. They also asked the hotel to report to police and added that they will cooperate fully with the investigation.

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